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Cincinnati Reds vs. Washington Nationals MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction 7/26/14

Washington Nationals (56-44) at Cincinnati Reds (51-51)

MLB Baseball: Saturday, July 26, 2014 at 4:05 pm (Great American Ball Park)

Gio Gonzalez (L) (6-5) (3.739) vs. Johnny Cueto (R) (10-6) (2.180)

The Line: Cincinnati Reds -117 / Washington Nationals +107 --- Over/Under: 7 See the Latest Odds

TV: FS1, MASN

The Reds look for their first win out of the All-Star break as they host the Nationals on Saturday afternoon.

The Washington Nationals increased their lead to 2.5 games in the NL East with a 4-1 win over the Reds on Friday night.   Tanner Roark continued his hot stretch on the mound and the Nats got to Reds’ starter Alfredo Simon for three runs in the fourth, establishing a lead they would never relinquish.   The Nationals have been getting the job done at the plate coming out of the All-Star break as they’ve gone 5-2 while scoring four or more runs in six of those seven games.   Runs may be tough to come by in Saturday’s game facing Cueto, but the Nationals send a capable starter of their own to the mound in Gio Gonzalez, who despite a shaky outing last time out against the Brewers has been generally strong of late.  The lefty was yanked in the fourth inning last game after throwing 88 pitches before recording the second out of the inning, allowing three runs on four hits with three free passes on the afternoon.   In the four starts prior, Gonzalez took a loss in Baltimore allowing four runs (three earned) over 6.2 innings and threw three consecutive shutout appearances over a span of 21 innings prior to that, although it is worth noting that two of these came against the Cubs.  Gio enters this game with a WHIP of 1.25 and ERA of 3.74 overall, but has been especially poor in day games with a 5.08 ERA across seven outings.  The Nationals are a strong road team at 26-24 on the year.

Cincinnati Reds vs. Washington Nationals MLB Pick, Odds, Prediction 7/26/14

USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds are reeling as Friday’s loss was their seventh straight, marking their longest losing streak of the season.  The Reds’ offense has been non-existent during the losing streak as the team has failed to score more than three runs in any of the seven losses, managing just one run on four hits in last night’s game.  Injuries to Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips in the heart of the lineup are mostly to blame, but honestly the Reds weren’t a potent offensive team prior to those key injuries as they are batting just .244 as a team on the year while ranking 28th in the league in runs scored.   Saturday’s starter Johnny Cueto is the epitome of a stopper though as he enters this matchup with a 10-6 record, WHIP of just 0.92, and ERA of 2.18.  Cueto is particularly dominant at home where opponents are batting just .174 against him, and the Reds have won seven of the last ten games Cueto has started overall.  Cincinnati is a respectable 27-22 at Great American Ballpark on the year.

The Reds are tough to back right now against a hot Nationals team but given their success rate in Cueto’s starts I expect them to snap this awful skid here.

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Cincinnati Reds -117 (1 unit)

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